The Temple

Typology & Daniel 6

Here are the links I promised to those of you in OT Survey and Bible study on Daniel.

Tonight’s Old Testament Class covered the issue of typology.    Good article on Typology  by W. Edward Glenny from Journal of Evangelical Theology (JETS).  Here is another version of the same article by Glenny, easier to read as it is all on one web page.   Here is an overview type article from Wayne Jackson that is really similar to the material in Bernard Ramm’s chapter on Typology from  Protestant Biblical Interpretation.    Since I don’t have a link to Ramm, this will have to do.

Tonight’s Bible Study covered Daniel 6. Daniel 6 is a good example of a passage that has clear typological elements (innocent man wrongly accused and sentenced to death only to defy death and emerge from a grave alive; visitor races to the “tomb”/pit/den at dawn to find hero not dead but alive;  global kingdom proclamation similar to the great commission) and yet is not classically considered typology.  For a good article on the historical challenges with Daniel, check out this PDF file by A.R. Millard, “Daniel 1-6 and History,” Evangelical Quarterly 49.2 (April-June 1977).

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March 11, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, Theological | , , , , | Leave a comment

You Are Not Your Brain

Philosopher and professor at UC Berkeley Alva Noe has written a book entitled “Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness”.  This is a fascinating topic that spans the disciplines of biology, psychology, neuro-science, philosophy and theology.

Noe has a video on Edge the Third Culture website (hardly a Christian site) which is interesting because the conclusions drawn from this discussion mitigate against a materialistic universe held by most of the Edge crowd (Dawkins, Dennett, Gould, et al).  Materialists want to make consciousness merely a function of the brain.

“The reason we have been unable to  explain the neural basis of consciousness is that it does not take place in the brain…Consciousness is not something that happens inside us but something we achieve.  To understand consciousness – the fact that we think and feel and that a world shows up for us – we need to look at a larger system of which the brain is only one element.  Consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body and world.  You are not your brain.  The brain rather is part of what you are.”

The question will be how do they link this idea with a materialist worldview.

Of course the Christian worldview has always answered this question with the soul and body composition of man.  We are made up of a material and immaterial part.  We are not gnostics who attribute superiority to the immaterial part, we view man as created in original holiness and good.  Depravity has distorted the image of God in man, and has affected both the material and immaterial parts of man.  Regeneration primarily deals with the immaterial part of man, and resurrection finalizes redemption as it is fully applied to us – the resurrection of the body being the primary focus.  Consciousness resides in the immaterial part of man and uses the brain to communicate between body and soul.

Thanks to Jim O. for the heads up on the Scientific American book review of Noe’s soon to be released work.

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March 10, 2009 Posted by | Christianity, Philosophy, Theological | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dennis Prager on Human Nature

Here is an interesting article by Dennis Prager called Is There Really Only One Human Race?

I don’t agree with Dennis here, the Christian view of man’s nature is that none are good and all fall short of God’s glory.  In order to understand the Bible’s teaching on the nature of man we need to identify two contexts in which the term good is used.

The first context is creation.  When God created He declares his creation “good” and “very good”.  Even after the fall man retains the image of God (Genesis 9:6).  In that sense we can say that man retains his creative goodness. Yet sin has also broken into the creation, and so even here we are all born in sin.  Sin has marred the good creation of God and so redemption is framed as re-creation.  We are new creations in Christ.

The second context is the context of covenant.  In terms of covenant we are “not good”.  We are covenant breakers, all of us.  No one is exempt from this covenant brokenness and it is here that we are in need of redemption.

This distinction is necessary for without it we logically slip into Gnostic heresy (body=evil; spirit=good).

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Theological | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evangelical Textual Criticism

Here is a blog link for all of you intellectuals out there interested in textual criticism.

Evangelical Textual Criticism.

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study Links, Links, Theological | , | Leave a comment

Reading Calvin

Some people believe that Calvinists are not Christians.  Odd.  Calvin may have been the greatest Christian mind given to the church.  His Institutes are worth reading, and they are not easy, so it may be easier to read with others.  Here are two websites that are moving through the Institutes this year, both in audio format and in print.  Challenge your mind to some deep thinking.

Douglas Wilson at Blog and Mablog

Princeton Theological Seminary

ht: Between Two Worlds; Douglas Wilson

January 1, 2009 Posted by | Books, Christianity, Theological | , , , | 3 Comments

Teaching Videos Available…

If you were not aware and were interested, you can download video of all of our teaching sessions at Nuevo Community Church.org.

Included in the downloads are the full sermon series on Luke, Hebrews from chapter 4 on, our most recent series on the Holy Spirit entitled “The Promise of the Father” and our present series on Doctrine.

“The Faith” (our Wedenesday Night Class offerings) is also included:  Systematic Theology; New Testament Survey,  Hermeneutics (How to Study the Bible).

Let us know if you use and enjoy these resources.

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, Sermons, Theological | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is the Gospel?

Greg Gilbert on the 9Marks blog has written three posts on the definition of the gospel.

In the first part he raises two questions:

Those two questions are these:

  1. What is the gospel? In other words, what is the message a person must believe to be saved? And
  2. What is the gospel? In other words, what is the whole good news of Christianity?

I would encourage the reading of all three posts:

What is the Gospel? Part 1

What is the Gospel? Part 2

What is the Gospel? Part 3

This would be good reading for anyone involved in helping ministries:  Helping the poor, feeding the homeless, graffiti abatement team, Men’s New Commandment Ministry to Widows…anyone on our External Focus Team.  Good works are an expression of the gospel, and it should be made explicit.

(Rudy, this may be good to hand out and talk about at our next breakfast with the Men’s Ministry?)

ht: Between Two Worlds

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Theological | , , | Leave a comment

Post-Moderns and Emergents

Ravi Zacharias, Al Mohler and RC Sproul chime in on Postmodernism and the Emergent Movement.

Ligonier Ministries

September 17, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Culture - Values, Emerging Church, Philosophy, Theological | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tim was such a little devil

Posted by ShoZu

My mother would die if she saw this photo.
A mixture of religious superstition and evangelical mythology. I have written previously about modern misconceptions regarding Satan, such a cute little devil.

Here is a summation of some of our superstition and mythology with regard to Satan. Maybe you have more to add – or a contrary  “satanic” opinion.

“Satan is the evil equivalent to God.”
Most Christians would not agree with this statement, but would unwittingly use it in composing their picture of Satan. When I hear people talk about Satan, they ascribe god-like powers to him like omniscience and omnipresence. In constructing this picture of Satan, he is given credit for numerous bad events in the lives of people all around the world. This dualism is not a Biblical idea. God is sovereign.
Satan cannot read minds, it is very possible that he cannot communicate with Christians apart from their senses, and he cannot be at multiple locations at the same time. It is possible that he doesn’t know your name, or that you exist. Since we don’t believe that demons procreate and that there is not an infinite number of them, it is possible that there are more humans than there are demons. You don’t have a personal demon assigned to you.  As a result, most of your evil behavior really cannot be blamed on him or them, it is probably just you.

“Satan reigns over hell”

You’ve may have heard this joke, or one with a similar scenario:

The Pope, Billy Graham, and Oral Roberts were in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean. Tragically they all died and went to the pearly gates together. St. Peter was surprised to see them. “Oh, dear! We weren’t expecting you and your quarters aren’t ready yet. We can’t take you inand we can’t send you back!” Getting an idea, he picked up the celestial phone and called Lucifer. “I have three gentlemen who are ours, but
their places aren’t ready yet. Could you put them up for a couple of days? I’ll owe you one.”
The Devil reluctantly agreed.

Two days later, St. Peter got a call. “Pete, this is Lucifer. You have to come get these three guys that are yours. This Pope guy is forgiving everybody, the Graham fellow is saving everybody, and Oral Roberts has raised enough money to buy air conditioning!”

The idea is that God rules over heaven and all that is good, and that Satan rules over hell and all that is evil. Not a Biblical idea. Satan is consigned to the lake of fire in Revelation, along with those whose names are not written in the book of life as well as death and hades. Satan does not rule over hell. He is described as thrown into it and is tormented there. God is the ruler over all of his kingdom.

“The Serpent in Genesis is Satan”
The Old Testament is remarkably silent in its information about Satan. The earliest Jewish commentaries on Genesis 3 (the Targums, rabbinical paraphrases of Scripture which preceded the Talmud), are noteworthy for their complete lack of reference to any supernatural evil being in Genesis 3. The identification of the serpent as Satan is not even made semi-explicit until Revelation 12, where the phrase “that ancient serpent” is identified as the devil and Satan. Genesis portrays the being as simply a serpent, who apparently at that point had legs, and through the curse is consigned to crawl on its belly.
This point will cause discomfort in most of my readers, I am simply trying to point out the paucity of teaching in the Old Testament regarding Satan.
First of all, the Hebrew term meaning “satan” is simply a word that means “adversary.” When you see the word “Satan” in the OT, the translators have decided that the term “adversary” should be personified and given the title “Satan”. Try this, look up in the OT all the references to “Satan” and notice how many of them still make perfect sense if you substitute the word “adversary.”
In Numbers 22:22 the “angel of the Lord” is described as a “satan”, our translators use the term “adversary” here, but in fact the word is “satan”. This is a fascinating picture because it is more reflective of the usage of the term in Job, the “major” place in the OT where Satan is spoken of. But even in Job, “Satan” is not pictured in rebellion against God, rather, he carries out God’s bidding, and stays within God’s guiding boundaries. Hardly the typical picture of the rebellious and snarling demon.
My point? We read into the text our preconceived notions about Satan and as a result ascribe meaning that is not present in the text or the mind of the author or the original readers. This mishandling of the text fosters confusion.

“Lucifer is the name of Satan”

I have written previously about this phenomenon.
This is the most remarkable myth surrounding Satan. Lucifer is not a Biblical term for Satan. In fact, the term is a Latin term that was not introduced into the Biblical text until the first Latin translations (Jerome’s Vulgate in the 5th century AD &  the Vetus Latina which is a hodgepodge collection of Latin translations that preceded the Vulgate by about a century). The only place “lucifer” occurs is in Isaiah 14:12, but remember “lucifer” is a Latin term and the book of Isaiah was written in Hebrew. The Latin language is thought to have had its beginnings in the 5th century BC, some three centuries after the writing of the book of Isaiah. Safe to say that Isaiah never heard of the word “lucifer” and certainly didn’t write it in his prophecy.
In Isaiah 14:12 the term he uses is “helel” which means light source, the ESV translates the term “Day Star” with unfortunate capitalization. Even in the Vulgate the term “lucifer” is not capitalized. Jerome was translating the Hebrew term “helel” with the Latin equivalent “lucifer” which means source of light. It was in the Middle Ages that the passage in Isaiah came to be associated with the figure known popularly as “Satan” and not until the King James Translators chose to translate the term “lucifer” as a name by capitalizing and transposing as opposed to simply translating. It is also interesting to note the dependence of the KJV translators (at least here) on the Vulgate!
Long explanation made short: there is nowhere in the Bible a figure known as Lucifer.

My point? We make more of the devil than we should.

September 9, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, Isaiah, Theological | , , , | 5 Comments

Greg Koukl on Free Will

Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason answered a question about Free Will and does a good job explaining the issue, listen to the first 20 minutes of his July 6 broadcast. I like Greg, he is the epitome of kindness and patience and he works hard at thinking clearly…check him out. You can hear Greg live on the radio on Sundays from 3-5pm on AM740 KBRT in Southern California.

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Theological | Leave a comment